Matthew 25:36-40

Mat 25:36 (KJB)
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Naked, sick, and in prison are three human conditions which will always be around till the Lord returns. There is nothing wrong with helping out a person by giving them clothes if they need it, and if they are sick to visit and help them by maybe bringing a meal or even doing their laundry, and if you know someone who is in prison, it is not wrong for you to go and visit them because prison can be a very lonely, discouraging place. However, as good as these things are there is a spiritual meaning to each of these conditions which would help a person go a lot further. When a person is naked, it is to say they are not clothed in the Gospel. (Heb 4:13 KJV) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.  If a person does not become saved, they will stand before the Lord naked, that is, with all their sins exposed. If they became saved, then they would be clothed in the robe of Christís righteousness. (Isa 61:10 KJV) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. When a person has that robe, their sins are removed and all that is seen is the righteousness of Christ.

Then when a person is sick we visit them with the Gospel. (James 5:14 KJV) Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: The type of sickness in view here is one who is spiritually tired or weakened and can be a believer. If this were a physical sickness, why send for the elders of the church instead of a doctor. If it is an unbeliever who is part of a church then the elders would pray for their salvation. Then the next condition is being in prison. (Isa 14:17 KJV) That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? Every unbeliever in the world is in prison but it is a spiritual prison because they belong to the kingdom of Satan and as Isaiah 14:17 states, he will not open his house of prisoners to let any of them go free. (Col 1:13 KJV) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: When we bring the Gospel to a person and they become saved, then they are taken from that prison of Satanís kingdom and placed into the kingdom of Christ.

Mat 25:37 (KJB)
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

Then the righteous will be thinking back and wondering when they saw the Lord Jesus Christ in any of those situations and will have to question Him as to when did these things happen? They would have been looking at the physical part of this.

Mat 25:38 (KJB)
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

They would be bewildered as to when the Lord was a stranger to them or when he was needing clothes because He had none. The only time the Lord was stripped naked was before He was crucified but even that did not qualify because they did not clothe Him.

Mat 25:39 (KJB)
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

There was never a time in His ministry when the Lord Jesus Christ was so sick that He needed to be attended to nor did they ever see Him in prison. They wondered how did they come unto Him in these situations when they could not recall any of them happening.

Mat 25:40 (KJB)
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Remember when Saul of Tarsus was on the Damascus road heading toward Damascus to arrest all the Christians he could and then bring them all back to Jerusalem for trial and hopefully execution. (Acts 9:4 KJV) And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Jesus appeared to him and asked him why he was persecuting Him? Just as those who persecute Christians are actually persecuting Jesus, when one is ministered to by a Christian, then they are in essence ministering to Jesus. Even though they did not see Jesus personally in any of those situations, they had ministered throughout the ages to many who were in those situations and became saved. People who work in a rescue mission bring the Gospel to those who are very destitute and if they become saved then they are the least of these His brethren because they have become saved.

A person who goes to the street and hands out tracts and sees no immediate fruit, yet that night someone becomes saved, they are the least of them His brethren and the person who gave the tract may never know that he or she bore fruit that day. This situation may happen to many believers because when money is sent to the mission field or sent to a legitimate ministry, one never knows where the ministering reaches and who gets saved. This is why when we do ministry, we never concern ourselves about how many get saved because that is the Lordís work and sometimes ministry may be done today and a person may get saved 10 years into the future. I first heard the true Gospel from Blind Evangelist Ralph Montanus when I was 12 years old and I did not get saved till I was 27. 15 years later, his ministry was bearing fruit and he was no longer on the radio station I heard him on.